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The Village Lock-up
an interesting relic from the past
The Village Lock-up
When you travel around England and Wales, you will come across these small old buildings, called lock-ups, surviving mainly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Lock-ups were built to hold miscreants until they could be dealt with by the police and magistrates. The majority of the time, they probably held drunks overnight and those caught up to no good. They are often called blind houses due to the darkness inside as there is no or very little light entering.
The majority of these lock-ups are only large enough for one or two prisoners. Some have a couple of cells within them. The lock-up came to an end when the County Police Act was introduced in 1839, and more police stations were built with their own holding facilities. This act also put policing to the fore, and each county was allowed to set up a paid police force. Many lock-ups are still left today. I live in Trowbridge in Wiltshire, and within a few miles, there are a number of lock-ups. One in Trowbridge, another at Hilperton (opening photo), the village of Steeple Ashton (video) and Bradford on Avon on the town bridge.
Here’s an interesting fact, and it might get you a point in a pub quiz. The crest of Everton Football Club features Everton Lock-up built in 1787 on Everton Brow, Liverpool.
Do you have a village lock-up where you live? Do you have a favourite that you would like to share with everyone here? Please leave a comment in the box below.
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